The screen legend revealed this week that he is suffering from type 2 diabetes, which he thinks will limit his work output in the future
During a recent appearance on CBS's The Late Show with David Letterman, Tom Hanks appeared as a guest and had a totally unexpected announcement for the host and audience; that he is suffering from type 2 diabetes. Appearing on the show to promote his new film, Captain Phillips, Hanks made the film wait second as he immediately began to tell Letterman about his current battle against type 2 diabetes.
Hanks during a scene in the upcoming hostage film
"I went to the doctor and he said 'You know those high blood sugar numbers you've been dealing with since you were 36? Well, you've graduated. You've got type 2 diabetes, young man,'" said the star of A League of Their Own and Castaway. Both of these Hanks films have something in common, and that is that they required the double Oscar-winner to either gain or lose a considerable amount of weight, a requirement he says he can no longer commit to in any future potential role.
"I've talked to a number of actors who have gained weight for roles and - just out of the sheer physical toll on one's knees and shoulders - no-one wants to do it again," he told the BBC ahead of the start of the London Film Festival. "I think that's more or less a young man's game. I'm 57 and I don't think I'm going to take on any job - or go on any vacation again - and see to it that I can gain 30lbs."
Promoting the new film Captain Phillips at the LFF, Hanks went into even further detail about the diagnosis with the BBC again, blaming the lifestyle he's had since he was a child and certain family genetics for his development of the illness. He does take his own health seriously though, as he continued, "I always joke: you've got to maintain the temple. I get regular exercise and I eat right - which everybody should do - and I take certain meds."
The film is out later this month
Aside from his disease, Hanks has been spending a lot of time promoting Captain Phillips, a film that has already gained a notable Oscar buzz. The film is based upon the real-life events of when an Alabama-born merchant ship captain was taken hostage whilst at sea by Somali pirate. Hanks says that he spend time with the real Cpt. Phillips before filming to capture his mannerisms and learn what he was thinking during the ordeal, and his dedication to the role might pay off when it comes to awards season.
The film, directed by Paul Greengrass, focuses on the relationship that develops between Captain Richard Phillips at his invading captain; Muse (Barkhad Abdi) and has so far been routinely praised by critics.
Captain Phillips is out on 11 October in the US and 18 Oct. in the UK.